HONEY AND HOPE: A Sinsila Center Campaign

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BACKGROUNDER

2022 IIE Goldberg Prize Winners

The Sinsila Center for Urban Sustainability is located in the heart of East Jerusalem, on the terraces of the Central Library. It is dedicated to educate, inspire, create with, and empower, local communities. Its goal is to heal the urban environment of Jerusalem by providing local and sustainable solutions. Sinsila’s action plan has three main focus points: employment, inspiration, and education. It aims at having a multidimensional approach in order encompass healing the city, community work, urban planning, economic empowerment, sustainability, and ecology. Sinsila aims to be a true community space with its café and numerous courses, cultural events and workshops, with a women’s cooperative created around honey and bee-related products as well as tours and events to encourage ecotourism.

Sinsila started from this basic observation: in a very dense city, there were many vacant unused spaces in the heart of East Jerusalem, which presented a huge potential: rooftops. One rooftop in particular stood out from the rest for its remarkable possibilities: the terraces of the public Central Library. In 2019, Sinsila held its first beekeeping course and distributed beehives to participants across East Jerusalem. Installing beehives on the terrace of the library was the first step in establishing the sustainability and community center. Today there are many additional courses at Sinsila, including urban farming and permaculture, but most importantly the women who participate become leaders of their communities, building their own green spaces, producing honey, and cultivating other products from their beehives. Sinsila has succeeded in cracking a new model of environmental employment, or “green jobs.”

THE HONEY AND HOPE CAMPAIGN

In 2022 Sinsila partnered with local institutions to train 100 more women, providing each woman two beehives as a starting point and leading to the production of 3-4 tons of the high-quality biodynamic honey in the upcoming year. The honey will meet the Israeli standard and will be certified by a local institute. To secure the income for the first year and invest in marketing and distribution, they have launched a campaign to sell the honey in advance, through a crowdfunding site, where supporters can buy honey, sponsor a hive, or book a tour. Supporters can also contribute directly to the Sinsila Center.

2022 IIE Goldberg Prize Winners

Tariq Nassar is an architect and urban planner who has worked on several projects in East Jerusalem and other areas focusing on Placemaking, master plans and community development. Through his experience as a community architect, he has developed methods to work with communities to design, implement and activate projects, applicable in areas with limited, or no master plans as well as a toolbox for designing in contentious places. A recognized expert in his field, he has presented in conferences and workshops worldwide.

Liel Maghen is a cross cultural entrepreneur, strategist, and educator who has worked work in different dimensions of cross-border community organizing and development. This experience includes group facilitation in various programs, management of several trans boundary initiatives and research in the areas of regional cooperation, conflict transformation, inter communal relations and sustainable development. He was Executive Co-Director of IPCRI: Israel Palestine Center for Regional Initiatives and is a contributor to the Forum for Regional Thinking (FORTH). In their joint pursuit of practical solutions, Liel and Tariq partnered with Matan Israeli from Muslala Organization in founding the Sinsila Center for Urban Sustainability.

 

Contacts
Public Affairs
press@iie.org